Social Security Number
Before applying for a social security number, F-1 students must have been in the U.S. for at least 10 days and they must have reported to the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office at their school to activate their student status in SEVIS. Before applying for a social security number, you must have a job offer.
Instructions for Applying for a Social Security Number
Please click on the link at the right for a printable guide with instructions for applying for a social security number.
1. Obtain a letter signed in blue ink by your supervisor (printed on department letterhead) indicating:
- Verification that you have a job offer & description of employment
- The start date of employment
- The number of hours per week you are or will be working
- Name and telephone number of your supervisor
2. Complete the SS-5 form at www.ssa.gov/online/ss-5.pdf. If possible, type your responses before printing the form.
3. Bring your job offer letter (step 1) and SS-5 form (step 2) to the International Programs Office Front Desk (Royce Hall first floor).
4. A staff member will draft your verification letter. You will receive an email to pick up your letter of verification from the ISSS Office, OR, if you are a sponsored J-1 student, a letter (which authorizes your employment) from your sponsor with an original signature on sponsor letterhead.
5. Travel to the Social Security Administration office in Lancaster, Wisconsin (175 W Alona Lane) to apply for your social security number. Lancaster is about 20 miles from Platteville. The office is only open on weekdays between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Close at 12 p.m. on Wednesdays). Allow 60-90 minutes for your appointment, including travel to and from Platteville. You must show the following documents to complete an application:
- Valid Passport
- Print-out of your I-94 (available at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/request.html)
- Valid I-20 or DS-2019
- One other piece of identification - student ID card, driver's license, etc.
- Job offer letter (unless you have an EAD card)
- Letter from ISSS Office or J-1 program sponsor verifying employment
- SS-5 Form
Only students working ON CAMPUS must follow steps 6-8 below:
You must bring the following to all of your appointments to fill out paperwork on campus:
- I-94 printout
- I-20 or DS-2019
- Student ID Card
- Letter from the Social Security Administration Office that states your Social Security Number.
- Work Authorization Form (provided by your supervisor)
- A letter from your supervisor (see step 1 above)
- Employment Documents listed at /financial-aid/student-employment
6. Bring all items listed above and go to the Office of Human Resources (2300 Ullsvik).
- Drop off the Work Authorization Form completed by you and your hiring department
- Fill out Form I-9, W4 form, and Direct Deposit paperwork.
7. You will receive an email from Glacier with a form you must complete immediately for tax purposes. Please bring to Human Resources (2300 Ullsvik) right away.
8. Once you receive your Social Security Card, bring it to the Financial Aid Office (204 Brigham Hall).
**Note: You must keep track of your work hours until the Financial Aid Office has a copy of your SS card**
Depending on the type of employment for which you have been authorized, you will need to bring the following documents to the Social Security Administration office:
You must submit all the documents listed in step 5.
You must submit the original I-20 with the CPT authorization noted on page 2, in addition to all of the documents listed in step 5. Do not apply for a social security number more than 30 days prior to your CPT start date. If you do so, your social security number application may be delayed or denied.
If you are applying for a social security card because you will be engaging in OPT, you have two options for applying for a social security number:
Option #1: Apply for a social security number when filing Form I-765 with your OPT application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). See the I-765 instructions on our OPT webpage for further information.
Option #2: Apply directly to the Social Security Administration (SSA) by following the instructions above. However, do not apply for a social security number until AFTER your OPT start date and AFTER you have received your EAD card in the mail, or else your social security number application may be delayed or denied. You must submit the Employment Authorization Card (EAD card) and the original I-20 with the OPT authorization noted on page 2, in addition to all of the documents listed in step 5. You do not need to submit a job offer letter or proof of employment.
Receiving Your Social Security Card
Social Security cards are typically mailed out to you 2-3 weeks after you apply. If you applied for a social security number on your Form I-765 when applying for OPT, you should receive your social security card approximately one week after you receive your EAD card.
Are you working on campus? You must report to the Financial Aid Office so that they can make a copy of your Social Security card.
- ISSS Online Account Log In
- Update your Address/Phone Number
- Update your Emergency Contact Information
- International Student Handbook
- Upcoming ISSS Events
- F-1 Forms
- Change of Degree Level
- Reduced Course Load (RCL) Authorization
- Program Extension
- Maintaining Legal Status
- Health Insurance
- Banking/Paying Your Bill
- Driving in the U.S.
- Getting a State ID
- Tax Information
- Tuition Remission
- Departure from the U.S.